The Optimist Citizen

Debunking conventional hospitality, this backpacker’s hostel is creating a therapeutic tribe

Part of the tribe!

Part of the tribe – an epithet that probably brings in images of communal fervour and community bonding. But, it wouldn’t be necessarily a statement that you would associate with a chain of backpackers hostels. The Lost Tribe Hostel might be that new a figment of that tangible imagination. The low-cost and cosy dormitories of The Lost Tribe hostel (TLT), located among the snow-capped mountains of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, make it an invigorating visit for any backpacker. Located in the middle of the apple orchards of Jagatsukh, a humble village 6 kilometres south of Manali, TLT hostel promotes the cultivation of art in one’s life by merging diverse ideas under one roof.

Image courtesy: The Lost Tribe Hostel
Image courtesy: The Lost Tribe Hostel

TLT was founded by Stuti Ashok Gupta, Alexander Borges, Arjun Raj Nadar, and Pranay Gohil, each of them sharing the same a commonality in entrepreneurial outlook and a visible passion for art. “I had gone to Goa for my birthday, and that’s where I met the others”, says Stuti. Stuti, who had completed her masters in clinical psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences had planned to go to the University of Edinburgh on a full scholarship. But, unfortunately, could not go there due to a family issue. This was a period of “heartbreak” for her. Stuti met Alexander during her trip to Goa, who was running two hostels in the Anjuna area of Goa. Alex always aspired to join the army after completing his bachelors in business administration, but could not pursue this dream due to a back injury.

Stuti and Alex, unable to move forward in what they had desired, decided to tread along a new path. They both always knew that they could not stick to a routine of monotony. While Stuti was doing an internship in Goa during the month of March in 2016, the idea of TLT came into existence. Arjun was Alexander’s classmate, while Pranay was an undergraduate student in Mumbai who wanted to leave home and do something remarkable. Together, they decided to start TLT. Manali was chosen as the location of the hostel due to the dream-like atmosphere it can provide for an artist. After the inception of the idea of TLT, Arjun and Alex registered the place within 10 days.

During our conversation, Stuti talks about her understanding of a therapeutic community and how its core values were utilised to augment TLT, beyond the structure of a hostel establishment. “A lot of our visitors are those who are coping with their issues. TLT hostel provides them with a sense of belongingness by opening up a scope of interaction with like-minded people, as well as giving them their own space, “she says. “This is why we have included the word ‘tribe’ in our name and existence. In the traditional sense of the word, a tribe is a community of people sharing the same beliefs and problems, and come to a solution together.”, adds Alex.

Image courtesy: The Lost Tribe Hostel
Image courtesy: The Lost Tribe Hostel

Some of the activities included as a part of the stay at TLT include a waterfall trek, yoga sessions and working on artistic pursuits. “As founders, we only provide our residents with the different resources. We give them a place to decide how they want to go about their day,” says Stuti. Alex adds, “We are only business partners and have little say in what happens. The place gets into its own vibe depending on the occupants. The vibe changes as the people in the hostel change.”

TLT also has one hostel in Goa. It has a strong team of around 10 members constantly oscillating between the two hostels. Together, there have been around 10,000 people who have resided in the TLT hostels since its existence.

Image courtesy: The Lost Tribe Hostel
Image courtesy: The Lost Tribe Hostel

Recently, in collaboration with Platform For Artists (PFA), the Art Festival – Mountains ’18, was held during the end of May for three days. More than thirty-five artists from different parts of the country, with different artistic inclinations but a similar passion, gathered in TLT hostel to learn about and create exemplary works of art – showcasing not just their skills but also an affinity towards collaborative work.

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Excited for their upcoming event – CoArt ’18, taking place between 29th September and 2nd October, PFA and TLT look forward to imbibing the skills of entrepreneurship in budding artists, and to transfer artistic skills to entrepreneurs with an inclination towards art. It is a four-day boot camp striving to help people in developing and presenting their idea, and also aid them in recognizing their field of interest. The Art Entrepreneurship boot camp will help artists in converting their work into a business. It aims at pushing people to make their dreams of starting something on their own come true.

Image courtesy: The Lost Tribe Hostel
Image courtesy: The Lost Tribe Hostel

With their gamut of activities, opening up new definitions of self-exploration, The Lost Tribe Hostels stand beyond the regular queue of accommodational establishments. It stands taller, towering and resolute in a fashion of exceedingly bright collaborative spirit and the soul of a tribe. ‘Sometimes the only way to ever find yourself is to get completely lost’, these words of Kellie Elmore sound a familiar ring.” The Lost Tribe Hostels, with its organic approach of hospitality and life, surely makes it a life-changing experience for its residents.

To know more about The Lost Tribe Hostels and its recent CoArt festival, visit here


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